Flacourtia inermis: Batoko Plum, Lobi-lobi 

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Flacourtia inermis, known commonly as lobi-lobi, or batoko plum, is a species of flowering plant native to the Philippines, but which has naturalized in tropical Asia and Africa.

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This tree that may grow up to 15 meters. The fruits are produced in bunches and resemble cherries. The fruit is round and shiny, turning from light green to a deep red colour upon ripening. Each fruit measures 1 to 3 centimeter in diameter. The flesh is crunchy but sour and acidic in taste. The fruits are edible but generally not eaten fresh but made as jams, preserves, and syrups.

Photos: Pasir Ris Park and Nature Reserve, Singapore [20160306]

Source: Wikipedia


Luffa cylindrica: Sponge Gourd

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Luffa is a genus of tropical and subtropical vines in the cucumber [Cucurbitaceae] family.

In everyday non-technical usage, the luffa, also spelled loofah, usually means the fruit of the two species Luffa cylindrica [syn. Luffa aegyptiaca] and Luffa acutangula. The fruit of these species is cultivated and eaten as a vegetable. The fruit must be harvested at a young stage of development to be edible. When the fruit is fully ripened, it is very fibrous. The fully developed fruit is the source of the loofah scrubbing sponge which is used in bathrooms and kitchens. Luffa are not frost-hardy, and require 150 to 200 warm days to mature.

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^ Meet some pollinators ūüôā

The fruit section of Luffa cylindrica may be allowed to mature and used as a bath or kitchen sponge after being processed to remove everything but the network of xylem fibers. If the loofah is allowed to fully ripen and then dry out on the vine, the flesh disappears leaving only the fibrous skeleton and seeds, which can be easily shaken out. Marketed as luffa or loofah, the sponge is used as a body scrub.

Photos: Pasir Ris Park and Nature Reserve, Singapore [20160228]

Source: Wikipedia

Solanum pseudocapsicum: Jerusalem Cherry

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Solanum pseudocapsicum is a nightshade species with poisonous fruit. It is commonly known as the Jerusalem cherry, ¬†Madeira winter cherry, or, ambiguously, “winter cherry”. These perennials can be grown decoratively as house plants, but in some areas of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand it is regarded as a weed.

They generally live up to 10 years, producing fruit usually in their second or third year, and every year after that. They are congeners of tomatoes and the fruit is extremely similar to cherry tomatoes in taste and texture, and are therefore easily confused with them.

The Jerusalem cherry’s poison is primarily solanocapsine, which is similar to other alkaloids found in their genus, such as solanine and atropine. Although the toxin is poisonous, it is generally not life-threatening to humans. It may cause gastric problems, including vomiting and gastroenteritis.¬†Jerusalem cherries are also highly poisonous to dogs, cats, and some birds.

Photo: North Yishun, Singapore [201660217]

Source: Wikipedia

Durio zibethinus: Durian

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The durian is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio. There are 30 recognised Durio species, at least nine of which produce edible fruit. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions.

Regarded by many people in Southeast Asia as the “king of fruits”, the durian is distinctive for its large size, strong odour, and formidable thorn-covered husk. The fruit can grow as large as 30 centimetres [12 in] long and 15 centimetres [6 in] in diameter, and it typically weighs one to three kilograms [2 to 7 lb]. Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the colour of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale yellow to red, depending on the species.

The edible flesh emits a distinctive odour that is strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact. Some people regard the durian as having a pleasantly sweet fragrance; others find the aroma overpowering and revolting. The smell evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage. The persistence of its odour has led to the fruit’s banishment from certain hotels and public transportation in Southeast Asia.

The durian, native to Southeast Asia, has been known to the Western world for about 600 years. The nineteenth-century British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace described its flesh as “a rich custard highly flavored with almonds”.

Photo: Singapore [20150626]

Source: Wikipedia

Passiflora Manicata: Red Passion Flower

Passiflora, known also as the passion flowers or passion vines, is a genus of about 500 species of flowering plants, the namesakes of the family Passifloraceae. They are mostly vines, with some being shrubs, and a few species being herbaceous.

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The family Passifloraceae has a pantropical distribution. Passiflora itself is absent from Africa, where many other members of the family Passifloraceae occur. Most species are found in South America, eastern Asia, southern Asia eastward to New Guinea.

Photos: Cloud Forest, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore [20150515]

Source: Wikipedia

Morus nigra: Black mulberry, Murbei

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Morus nigra, the black mulberry, is a species of flowering plant in the family Moraceae, native to southwestern Asia, where it has been cultivated for so long that its precise natural range is unknown.

Morus nigra is a deciduous tree. The edible fruit is dark purple, almost black when ripe in a  compound cluster of several small drupes; it is richly flavoured, similar to the red mulberry [Morus rubra] but unlike the more insipid fruit of the white mulberry [Morus alba].

Black mulberry has long been cultivated for its edible fruit and is planted and often naturalised west across much of Europe, including Ukraine, and east into China.

Photo: Jakarta, Indonesia [20140611, 20150505]

Source: Wikipedia

Cucurbita moschata:’Burpee’s Butterbush’ Winter Squash


Cucurbita moschata is a species originating in either Central America or northern South America. It includes cultivars of squash and pumpkin. Cucurbita moschata cultivars are generally more tolerant of hot, humid weather than cultivars of Cucurbita maxima or Cucurbita pepo. They also generally display a greater resistance to disease and insects, especially to the squash vine borer. Commercially made pumpkin pie mix is most often made from varieties of Cucurbita moschata. The ancestral species of the genus Cucurbita were present in the Americas before the arrival of humans.


^¬†‘Burpee’s Butterbush’ Winter Squash’s flower

Evolutionarily speaking the genus is relatively recent in origin as no species within the genus is genetically isolated from all the other species. Cucurbita moschata acts as the genetic bridge within the genus and is closest to the genus’ progenitor.

Photos: Burt’s Farm, Dawsonville, Georgia [20111010]; ¬†Atlanta Botanical Garden,¬†Atlanta,¬†Georgia,¬†USA¬† [20130913]

Source: Wikipedia